Vista de un hospital en Florida donde se recibían a pacientes de la COVID-19, en una fotografía de archivo. Foto: Cristóbal Herrera / EFE / Archivo.

Florida: Allegations of Pandemic Data Manipulation Were “Unfounded,” Research Says

An investigation by a state inspector general Florida found no evidence of tampering with pandemic data coronavirus by state health authorities, as a former official denounced in 2020.

Rebekah Jones, former data analyst and former administrator of the official Florida page on COVID-19 cases, achieved notoriety in 2020 and 2021 for complaints that questioned the veracity of the data on infections, deaths and hospitalizations provided by the State Department of Health.

He also made accusations that attempts were being made to hide the magnitude of the incidence in Florida — the state with the third most cases of the infectious disease and the fourth highest in deaths at the critical moment of the pandemic — by limiting public access to the information.

After being fired from her position in 2020, she was subjected to a search of her home by the police and was eventually arrested on charges of unauthorized computer access.

The report on the investigation carried out into his allegations of “intentional” falsification of the data concludes that, according to “the analysis of the available evidence” they are “unfounded”.

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Jones, who is a Democrat and aspires to the nomination for a seat in the House of Representatives in the November elections, said at the time that she was fired from her position for “refusing to manipulate coronavirus data”, and made frequent statements in against Governor Ron DeSantis’ handling of the pandemic.

The Republican governor is against preventive measures against contagion, such as the use of masks and the closure of businesses and activities, and has promoted laws to prevent them from being applied in the state, even if the health authorities recommend them.

In March 2021, a study published in the specialized media America Journal of Public Health concluded that the actual impact of COVID-19 on mortality in the state of Florida was “significantly higher” than official data suggested.

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